Straight to Audience-Not Straight to DVD

February 4, 2010
posted by sheric

I was a guest blogger on the site Multi-Hyphenate today. Here is a small excerpt from that post and a link to the rest. Enjoy!

As with some of the new bloggers here, I met Tyler on Twitter as part of the group of filmmakers I have been able to connect with using the platform, you know the one that everyone thinks is “dumb” and they don’t “get.” It is quite useful in finding people with similar interests and I am glad, if not relieved, to have found a good group of film people from all over the world who relate to this crazy, artist world that is independent filmmaking.

In a discussion group we are having on Twitter at #infdist, I brought up the point that it is a shame the term Straight to DVD has such a negative connotation; meaning that such films are somehow inferior to films shown in theaters. I think it has more to do with bigger Hollywood studios deciding that their smaller films, the lower budget genre films, don’t command as much marketing investment as the star driven vehicles and they are “dumped” straight to home video instead of screenings in theaters.  It has little to do with the quality of the film. But quality, low budget indie films get this bad rap from it as well. Home video (or DVD) is the most lucrative way of distributing independent films. Low budget films appeal to smaller, niche audiences and while financial investment can be made for an expensive theatrical release, it is more cost effective to reach the audience at home, either on DVD, Video On Demand or increasing online through digital download or streaming.

My friend and indie filmmaker Zak Forsman published a post on his blog laying out his film festival strategy and subsequent release of his two upcoming films, White Knuckles and Heart of Now. In it, he talks about his direct- to-audience release goals.  When I thought about it, this is a much better way of explaining what straight to home video is…

Access the rest of the post on Multi-Hyphenate here.

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